The Second Amendment to the Constitution states “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a Free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
While our founders unanimously agreed this is a fundamental right of a free people, its acceptance has been eroded in the past century. At what point does regulation become infringement?
The militia at the time of our founding was expected to be every able bodied man equipped with firearms. “Well regulated” meant they were trained in the use of arms and battle tactics.
The founders feared a large standing army, with the power the federal government would then have over the states, as well as the enormous cost. They saw the need for a strong Navy and an armed people for defensive purposes only. However, the War of 1812 proved that a regular army was needed, but, as Madison suggested, is still restrained by a large majority of the population.